The parking lot at the Marschall Road Transit Station in Shakopee has been largely empty since it opened late last summer. But starting Monday commuters will have reason to use it.

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority will begin express service to and from the lot at Hwy. 169 and Marschall Road and downtown Minneapolis. Route 493 will have three morning trips to downtown Minneapolis and three evening trips to Shakopee.  Evening trips will originate at the Gateway Ramp.

MVTA also will begin three direct trips each morning and afternoon from park and ride lots in Prior Lake to the University of Minnesota. Route 490 will depart from County Road 21 and Main, Southbridge Crossing and Eagle Creek park and rides and travel to Anderson Hall on the U's West Bank in the morning. Afternoon trips will depart from Anderson Hall.  The final departure at 5:48 p.m. also will stop at the Marschall Road Transit Station.

MVTA was able to add the service because Prior Lake Laker Lines acquired three coach buses. That agency along with BlueXpress and Shakopee Express merged with MVTA on Jan. 1

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6 a.m. update: Current travel times

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6:30 a.m. update: Current drive times